Friday, September 25, 2015

(Updated)A Cautionary Tale...


I could not let that little defeat get me down. I got up this morning and made another one! And I will be wearing it next week as we are going to cool down a bit here in the tundra!

I like it best either with very fitted, tucked in tops, or with a top that just hits over the waistband, like my B6183.

Full coverage...the "wrap" is an overlay

The only change I made was to do a 3/4" wedge in back for a 'full butt adjustment'

I've had my eye on this skirt pattern since it was released last fall. In general, New Look works well for me, even though I am into fewer and fewer patterns with each release.

At any rate, I am loving view A and was planning to sew that up. And then I got fixated on the moto jacket and saw a skirt nearly identical to view D, in black ponte, but with more of a yoke than a waistband. So of course I had to have one of my own!

Expecting this to go relatively quickly, I bumped it up in queue. It has a front cut on the fold, the overlay, the back and waistband/facings. It's done up with an invisible zipper (though an exposed zipper could work too!) and has a finished length of 17". 

A little short for me. I added 2" in length to all 3 pattern pieces and added 1/2" to the back at the waist (and copied that to the back waistband). And because it's intended for a woven, I ended up with 3/4" side seams. So, using a knit didn't result in me going down a full size -- FYI! :) For something like this, I always attach the waistband to the individual pieces and then sew the side seams. Much easier to adjust that way (rather than sewing the skirt together and sewing the waistband together and then attaching them).

This was worked on a little bit at a time over a few days. The front overlay is hemmed and then is treated as one with the front pattern piece. I got that done and basted the sides (and took it in a little). I sewed up the side seams and got set on doing the finishing.

That day my daughter wore the black dress I'd made her. From the same fabric. That I was almost certain I'd pretreated.  I normally wash fabric as soon as it comes through the door!

See, I've gotten burned before. I bought a jersey knit and sewed it up and then washed it and HOLY COW! It twisted and the color faded and it was just horrible. And so I adopted the mantra, "better to ruin a cut of fabric than a finished garment." 

My daughter's dress was AT LEAST 3 inches shorter. Maybe 4...I looked over at my skirt and thought to myself "Oh crap..."

I decided I would finish the waistband (attach facing, understitch, stitch in the ditch) and then wash it before hemming. I washed on cold, air dried, being super cautious.

Well the skirt is now 18" unhemmed. It shrank just over 2 inches.


So I think, no biggie. I'll just use hem tape so I don't lose anymore length...


But the waistband is all wrinkly, it shrank in length but surprise! the zipper, of course, didn't shrink! So it's all weird and bubbly. The topstitching on the overlay no longer looks good.

Wah. Wah. Wah.

I see so.many.! people say they don't pretreat knits. Please do. Please. Please. Please! Don't be like me! Don't be sad that you don't have a super cute skirt to wear with black opaque tights and boots today :( 

So this is a wadder but I think the pattern is fantastic, and I will be making it again. Maybe this weekend. Because I really, really want it!

Updated: I went home for lunch so I took pics! Because that's how one LOL!

On me:

I don't know what's up with the derpy face!

Stupid zipper bubbles :(

17" finished hem - no thank you! I will be making it at my originally intended 19" length

WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the puckers

More pucker fest...

This is not a loss. I love the pattern and know it works for me. I just have to sew it. Again. :sideye:


Beware: Crappy photos ahead!

My mom is such a sweetheart. She is always trying her best to find things that we will like. She has a long history of calling me up before my birthday and asking "What size do you wear?" And for awhile now, that answer is "A 10 on top, 12 on bottom". And then she will get shorts or capris or something in a size 10. Because "that 12 looked so big!". And then I can't get them over my hips...or I can't zip them :)

Or like the super cute knit dress she bought me. In an XL. Because "It was so cute!". I can't wear an XL knit dress...maybe from Forever 21. LOL!

So this year she said "I bought you some jeans!" and I was prepared to be horrified (sorry Ma). Well HOT DOG!

I like these jeans enough to buy another pair! They are bootcut jeans from the J.Lo collection at Kohls. The waistband doesn't gape! My butt fits in them!!! Swoon!!!!

Sidenote: years ago I was so frustrated trying to buy jeans and found that the "urban" jeans fit best; Apple Bottom, Dereon, Coogi...Ah! They are made to accommodate a bigger booty/smaller waist combo a bit better than the average jean. But they were always so gaudy and overly adorned. Not my style at all. So I guess it makes sense that JLo's line is made to accommodate butts!

The regular length is 32.5". Yikes. I had to hem them shorter but luckily, they needed shortening 1.5". I was able to cut off the original hem-- I used my rotary cutter and cut inside, right next to the hem line-- and then I did a double turned 5/8" hem. I LOVE THEM!

I managed to find them on the site and they are a cotton/poly/lycra blend. I normally hate, hate, hate stretch wovens on my lower half. But I'm thinking the poly helps them keep their shape?? I wore them around after altering the length and they didn't seem to grow on me.

And now you may behold crappy bathroom pics because it was too dark in the house this morning. Welcome to fall.

(also, HELLOOOOO vanishing belly!)

Totally going to snag another pair in dark denim!!!


  1. I've had rtw knit garments that shrink every time I wear them - so even 1 pre-wash is tough to tell.

  2. I know it won't make you feel better but as soon as I get any fabric it just goes straight in the wash. Everything. Except maybe wool coating. Even if I don't sew it for years. Jeans look fab on you Btw.

    1. Yep, that's my normal method too! This one got missed though. I went to wash the cut of fabric when I washed the skirt and the Fabric Mart label was still on it :(

  3. Argh, how sad about your skirt! but it's such a cute pattern. I haven't seen it before but you should definitely make another

    1. I really like it and will totally make another one. Too cute not to have it! :)

  4. Sorry about your skirt, but Loving that pattern, a must have. Oh I have so learned from not pre-treating my fabric.

    1. Thank you! Oh, yes, you would love this one too! NL seems to work for you as well!

  5. Sorry to hear about your skirt snafu. Knits usually don't get crazy like that. As a rule, I don't prewash. With wovens, I steam or cut a sample, measure, hand wash, dry, and measure again. A few years ago, one blogger wrote she washed her fabric as soon as she got it. I thought what a good idea because sometimes I find flaws when I get ready to use my fabric and then it's too late to return it. I really need to start doing this.

    1. Yep, that's my normal method too! This one got missed though. I went to wash the cut of fabric when I washed the skirt and the Fabric Mart tag was still on it.

      I tend to order so much at once (dang you Fabric Mart! haha) that I just make a 'load' out of similar weight/color and do it right away. This also works because I am typically buying a specific type of fabric at once; e.g. a sale on Ponte or ITY or Cotton...

  6. I wash all fabric first. I was burned by some madras 3 years ago. I made a dress and it shrank 2 sizes after I washed it. I had to give it to my sister.

  7. Mum did well you look great in those jeans happy belated birthday.

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    1. I always prewash and dry before I store it. If the color runs, or fades, or crocks, or I suddenly have LESS than I'd thought I'd have, I want to know NOW. And if there is the least bit of pilling, out she goes. It won't improve.
      But enough about that. Wah wah for me, there's no Kohl's near me. I bought a pair of Torrid jeans and they gap soooo bad in the back, it's just not fair! They were supposed to fit! My Boden jeans fit better than those! I know, I can make a pair and they will fit, but.....just once...(edited for SPELL)

    2. I know, I know! I am glad I delved into making my own jeans and while it isn't "hard" it seems the toughest part is sourcing good denim!

  9. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS prewash ponte fabrics because of a similar situation. I have to admit that I'm a little more relaxed about ITY knits though probably because they make up such a small amount of my wardrobe!

    1. I agree on ITY...I've never had it "change" after a pretreat. BUT because it's usually coming in with a bunch of other fabric (LOL!) it tends to get tossed in too.

  10. My friend pretreats my wools for me (fancy dryer) and we are debating if she ever treated my cashmere for a winter coat.

  11. I always prewash any washable fabrics--even things like ITY knits. Sometimes the hand or other characteristics of a fabric change in unexpected ways after prewashing, and I feel like it's better to find out what the fabric is going to do before I actually cut into it.

  12. Aw. That stinks!! I'm a pre-washer. I can't stand making something and having it shrink. The skirt is cute though and I'm glad you will remake it. Yay on the jeans!! I have a hard time finding a pair to fit my butt, yet be small enough for my waist too. I'll check those out.

  13. Those jeans fit really well...yay, Mom! The hardest part of sewing (for me) seems to be accepting the "waste". I understand intellectually that it's part of the process, but emotionally it kills me. Thus, My venture into sewing clothing is challenging! The skirt is super cute, so I do hope you'll make it again!

  14. Awww, too bad about the skirt but it will be perfect next time. Happy belated birthday!

  15. Too bad this happened - I think it happens to us all. I remember washing one dress after I had preshrunk the fabric - and everything was fine. Then when I washed it for real, it came out all streaky - no bleach or anything to account for the fact. Mind you, this has also happened with RTW - I once found a pair of pants that actually fitted me - first time ever. I was even careful to wash them as per instruction - and the pants were fine, the waistband was not. The interfacing shrank and bubbled, and the pants became a bin job. They were a good, not cheap brand as well.

  16. So sorry about your skirt, But, I too, love the pattern.. Your next one, will be pretty.. Like your jeans too..Happy sewing.

  17. Such a bummer about the skirt! Think you could just rip out and re-insert the zip to save it? It is a cute pattern! Jeans look fab, btw. :)

  18. I'm so sorry about the least you know the pattern works for you and can make another. Those jeaas ARE sweet! I didn't know Kohls had anything that good! Way to go Mom!

  19. Even after prewashing, I've found some fabrics continue to shrink with washing but not evenly. That's happened with washable RTW too. I always pretreat and have read that it's sometimes necessary to treat me than once. I fancy those trousers! My inside leg is 33" ago these might work.
    Good luck with your next attempt at the skirt.


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